Check Your 6! at Historicon
There is little doubt that Check Your 6! has become the dominant air combat game at Historicon. There were many CY6! games covering all kinds of actions, from fighter scrums to 60+ plane B-17 raids on Berlin to jet combat over the Fauklands. This year I made my contribution with two games, one based in New Guinea using my Come On, Charlie! scenario and a second brand new scenario set during the Continuation War between Finland and the Soviet Union.
Come On, Charlie!
This scenario covers an engagement over New Guinea in which Airacobra pilots get the bounce on a group of Zeros harrying B-26 Marauders flying back from an attack on Lae. The Zeros are piloted by superior pilots of the Tanain Air Group (including ace Suburo Sakai), but start the game at a disadvantage, being low, slow, and scattered around the retreating bombers.
After setting up the initial bounce, the Airacobra drivers pressed the attack and dove in amongst the Zeros. The Japanese turned to fight, but quickly lost a plane. The Marauders raced for saftey at their best speed as the Japanese continued to mix it up with superior numbers of Airacobras. While one bomber was damaged, 2-3 of the Japanese planes had gotten out of position on the periphery of the fight, including their most experienced pilots, and the Airacobras took advantage of this momentary local superiority to pummel two more Zeros. When presented with a good shot, the heavy MG and cannon armament of the Airacobras tore the light Japanese aircraft apart. A couple of Japanese aircraft mamaged to break away from the escorts and track down the bombers, but could only kill one of them before they reached safety. With the bombers gone the US escorts could safely dive away from the Japanese. The US destroyed 3 enemy aircraft with the loss of only a single bomber destroyed a a couple of fighters damaged. Definitely a good day for the 39th Fighter Squadron.
Finland’s Hawks, Stalin’s Falcons
Last year I picked up the Osprey book “Finnish Aces of WWII” and while reading it came across a paragrpah describing an action involving LeLv 32, then flying Curtis Hawk 75s. A pair of Finns on patrol sighted a large formation of 35-40 Soviet aircraft. the called for help and were reinforced by four more Hawks and the six planes attacked the Soviet formation, shooting down 11 planes for no losses. However, what really caught my eye were the reported Finnish claims, which included I-16s, LaGG-3s, MiG-3s, and Pe-2s. This action involved 5 different types of aircraft: scenario gold! So I ordered the aircraft I needed and set to work. As usual life interrupted my painting schedule and I was putting decals on the Pe-2s the morning we left for Lancaster, but it all got done. We had done a playtest the week before and the scenario seemed good, so off I went.
The Soviets started deployed in tight vic formations surrounding the bombers. The Finns had the bounce and could deploy anywhere. They chose to attack the rear of the Soviet formation, with the four plane formation lining up on a three plane unit of I-16s – unfortunately being piloted by the only beginner in the entire game. The I-16s took a bit of a beating , losing the two green wingmen right away and suffering engine damage to the leader. However, the player soldiered on with a grin, despite having a single speed 1 aircraft, and managed to make a pain of himself lurking in the rear with two 20mm cannons firing at anything they could find.
The Soviets brought their aircraft around and began to mix it up with the Finns. As usual, the expert Finnish pilots easily out fought the individual Soviets, but 18 enemy fighters, there were always guns pointed their way. One of the Finns took engine damage from the two 20mm of a I-16 Type 28. Another Finn ran out of ammo. To compound the matter, the light 0.30 cal MG armament of the Curtis Hawks was able to damage the Soviets but not to knock them down with one blow.
The Finns continued to mix it up with the Soviet escorts and downed a couple more as well as damaging a number of them. However, they were not getting many shots in on the rapidly retreating Pe-2s. The speed of the swift Soviet mediums made it tough for the Soviets to close the range, but they were still able to score some hits on the retreating bombers with medium range fire. Fire from one of the Finnish fighters set one of the Pe-2s on fire and it was eventually destroyed, but the remainder were able to escape. With the victory points from the escaped bombers, the Soviets pulled out a win this time.
The scenario was fun and with 24 Soviets against 6 Finns, presented quite a sight. As usual, I got lots of inquiries about how I do my flight stands and a lot of compliments on the look of the game.
I need to do a little bit of work to convert the scenario briefing from convention style to the standard CY6! style. I also want to make a slightly scaled back version good for 5-6 players (versus the 9-1- for the scenario as written). When I get that done, I’ll post them on the downloads page.